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Battle of Chores – Part II

Part II

After my previous encounter over negotiating household chores went down the drain, I was thinking of new ways to try and get out of the drudgery of. I really really hate cleaning the table after dinner, and I was summoning all my creative forces to help me on this one.

After cleaning the dining table yet another time, I sat down all exausted in front of the TV. The news was coming on, where the TV news anchor was making a big deal about rising inflation.

TV anchor: “…and with the rising prices of petrol and food grains, it is the poor aam admi that is suffering…”

Me: “That’s stupid. The inflationary pressure is being created by the central bank trying to hold down the rupee to aid special interest exporters groups and not to mention the fisical deficit created by the absurd agricultural and commodity subsidies meant for… you guessed it… the poor aam aadmi. See?”
The wife gives me a blank stare.

Me : “You don’t see?”

As soon as I said that, a profound understanding of the universe hit me. In that moment, I had the deepest inspiration o my life. It came to me like a bolt of lightning, and I suddenly saw the world crystal clear, and my brain had it all figured it out.

Economics! The impenetrable fog of misunderstanding that permeates our lives, the key to confusion and obfuscation.

Me: “I just had a great idea!”

Wife: “Really? What?”

Me: “Lets have an auction for all the household chores!”

Wife: “Excuse Me?”

Me: “Yeah! Like how the government auctions of the spectrum to the Mobile companies.”

Wife: “Ooo… I don’t know…”

Me: “This is a great idea! We’ll write all the household chores on a piece of paper, and then we can bid on them!”

Wife: “Is this like the time when you tried to convince me that the XBOX is an investment?”


INVESTMENT!!! WE SHOULD BUY 2 OF THEM! But anyway, that’s not what this is about.”

Wife: “This sounds like another of your schemes!”

Me: “No, really. It’ll be a fair and genuine auction. Here’s how it works: First, we take some fake money…”

Wife (voice dripping with sarcasm): “Real auction, fake money. This doesn’t sound suspicious at all…”

Me (ignoring, completely excited): “…and then we write “I won’t do chore XXX” on pieces of paper…”

Wife: “…wait… I thought this was about doing chores, and not avoiding them…”

Me: “and then we bid for the pieces of paper. At the end of the auction, I won’t do all the chores that I bought, so you have to do them and vice cersa”

Wife: “Wait… This is ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense…”

Me: “No.. No… Think about it. It is completely fair. Since both of us have the same about of fake money, we have equal buying power, and we can buy chores that we REALLY REALLY don’t want to do, but we can’t buy them all, so we’ll have to do SOME chores…”

The Wife is holding her head and giving me THE LOOK.

Me: (still not getting the hint…) “…and the price of the chores reflect the marginal scarcity… of.. the… err… hmm… Why are you holding your head? Headache?”

SCORE!!! Economics:1 Common Sense: 0

After much convincing and explaining, I finally managed to convince the wife that this was a fair scheme to divide the housework and it would work perfectly. I started writing all the household chores on pieces of paper, and lined up some fake monopoly money, and we were ready to start. This was going to be fun…

— Aditya Kulkarni

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